I've been trying like mad to get Nate enrolled in preschool. I had intended to wait until he was 3; I'm a SAHM, so I don't need him in school. But the more his personality blossomed, I thought that the friends and fun of preschool would be something he'd really love. Plus, it would give me some time alone with The Turkey once s/he arrived. My goal was a Monday - Friday morning program, especially one where Stewart could drop Nate off on his way to work.
I worked for months on this. Nothing doing - everyone had accepted applications starting in March, or held lotteries that were long since over. The school I really wanted, School for Friends, has a two year-old class that holds 8 kids, and the waiting list had 31 people on it when I called. Eek.
Last week, I upped the efforts and started including daycare centers. Turned down frequently, put on some wait lists, but nothing. And NOBODY offered part-time care, which meant paying around $1,600 / month. Eek again.
However, one person suggested calling a few other places, and lo and behold one daycare center had just opened up a new two year-old room, so they were accepting new kids. AND they had one kid on a Tuesday / Thursday schedule, which meant they could let us fill in with the Monday / Wednesday / Friday part of it. I toured it on Friday, and officially enrolled him this morning.
I still have to pay for full-day care, even though my intention is to pick him up after lunch every day (though it's nice to know that I can leave him all day if I really want to). I talked to all of the other parents I could find, and all were very happy with the program. They do breakfast, playtime, outside time, program time (arts and crafts, etc.), and then lunch every day. Then if he stays, it would be nap, snack, and more program time until I came to pick him up.
He starts September 10th. I'm a lot more freaked out about this than I thought I would be. The teachers seems okay, but not super. I'm sure I'm being overprotective. I'm going to give it a few more visits before I start to worry. There wasn't anything major - just some benign neglect where they sat around talking while the kids were all playing by themselves, and a little bit tough on one kid when he was yelling too much. But like I said, the parents were all really happy, and several I talked to had waited over a year on a wait-list to get into this center. They like us to ease the kids in by leaving them for longer and longer periods, so I'll get more chances to see how the classroom works.
The great parts are:
* It's Downtown, which means that Stewart can drop him off in the mornings
* I have the full-day option for days I'm exhausted or The Turkey is killing me (and Stewart can bring him back home, in that case)
* They have a nice program, with lots of time outside
* They had a M, W, F spot!
* Lots of fun kids for Nate to play with, and they're all on the older end of 2 so I think he'll get a real boost with his language. Plus he'll have other really coordinated kids to play with.
* I get some time alone with The Turkey!
So that's our big news. I'm already thinking about hidden tape recorders that I can glue under his shirt to make sure the teachers are being nice to him. I truly didn't expect that this would be hard for me. I'm so weak. But I'm also so happy for Nate!